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To say that the chemical industry has an image problem would be an understatement. Hardly a day goes by without one form of the media telling you about spills, explosions, illegal dumping, past dumping, etc. In many of the instances there appears to be a blatant disregard by the company involved for the health, safety or environment of their workers, customers and the community they operate in. Unfortunately, a whole industry gets tainted by the transgressions of a few.

The Chemical Manufacturers Association, recognizing this problem of how members are preceived, has developed what it calls Responsible Care - a public commitment. By being a member of the CMA, companies now are committed to support a continuing effort to improve industry's responsible management of chemicals. Members pledge to the following:

* To recognize and respond to community concerns about chemicals and our problems.

* To develop and produce chemicals that can be manufactured, transported, used and disposed safely.

* To make health, safety and environmental considerations a priority in our planning for all existing and new products and processes.

* To report promptly to officials, employees, customers and the public, information on chemical-related health or environmental hazards and to recommend protective measures.

* To counsel customers on the safe use, transportation and disposal of chemical products.

* To operate our plants and facilities in a manner that protects the environment and the health and safety of our employees and the public.

* To extend knowledge by conducting or supporting research on the health, safety and environmental effects of our products, processes and waste materials.

* To work with others to resolve problems created by past handling and disposal of hazardous substances.

* To participate with government and others in creating responsible laws, regulation and standards to safeguard the community, workplace and environment.

* To promote the principles and practices of Responsible Care by sharing experiences and offering assistance to others who produce, handle, use, transport or dispose of chemicals.

Many a cynic will shout lip service on this. Like the quality issue, unless management is totally committed, it is nothing but lip service. But these principles are a good starting point, and are principles that can be adopted by any industry.
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Title Annotation:chemical industry's image
Author:Smith, Don R.
Publication:Rubber World
Article Type:editorial
Date:Aug 1, 1990
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